Comparison of Mental Workload with N-Back Test A New Design for NASA-Task Load Index Questionnaire

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Occupational Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Department of Ergonomics, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Economic, Management and Social Science, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

5 Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Economic, Management and Social Science, Shiraz, Iran

6 Cardiovascular Diseases Research Center, Department of Cardiology, Heshmat Hospital, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran

10.4103/iahs.iahs_126_20

Abstract

Aims: 
A most widely used tool for measuring the workload is the NASA-task load index (TLX) questionnaire, in which various studies have reported numerous problems. The present study aimed to improve the NSAS-TLX mental workload questionnaire using the fuzzy linguistic variables instead of the virtual rating scale, and multicriteria decision-making Fuzzy Best-Worst method (FBWM) instead of pair-wise comparison.
Materials and Methods: 
This cross-sectional study was carried out among students of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. In order to compare the traditional NASA-TLX and FBWM NASA-TLX questionnaire, participants performed a standard N-Back task with three low, medium, and high workload, subsequently, they completed the two questionnaires. Finally, results were examined using the researcher-made software and SPSS 16.
Results: 
With regard to the reaction time to response the N-Back test, the mean of correct responses were 107.43 and 85.86 responses at levels 1 and 3, respectively. The mean score of the subscales and the final score in the two questionnaires at different levels of the N-Back test were independent as follows: the two questionnaires had a significant difference on mental demand at level 3 with a mean (standard deviation [SD]) of 18.09 (6.39) in the FBWM-NASA-TLX questionnaire and mean (SD) of 22.64 (8.15) in the NASA-TLX questionnaire (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: 
In this study, the FBWM-NASA-TLX questionnaire was designed and studied with regard to the problems and limitations of the NASA-TLX questionnaire. Results of this study showed that the FBWM-NASA-TLX questionnaire can estimate more realistic scores and decisions of workload in the studied task.

Keywords


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